NYC Rock 2011: The top 25 New York City bands

Hear and now: TONY ranks the city's best rock groups.

Each October, thousands of rock hopefuls convene in New York City for the CMJ Music Marathon. These bands come from all over, but here at Time Out New York we're always particularly interested in the locals. No matter what style they play—from indie-rock and chillwave to black metal and art-punk—these groups share a common goal: to claim a niche within the city's fabled rock scene. In honor of their quest, we present to you our list of the 25 essential NYC rock icons. Think of this as a power ranking for Gotham rock, a list of the bands—whether fast-rising or long-entrenched—that the new crop will have to unseat in order to have really Made It.

No one got a free ride: Any heritage act we included had to have impressed us recently on record or onstage, not just in some hazy, mythical past; the young acts, meanwhile, had to be truly worthy of inclusion among the marquee names. Our criteria were strict: no hip-hop (the genre deserves its own list, we decided), no Jersey bands (sorry, Yo La Tengo and Screaming Females), no solo artists (apologies to Lou, Laurie and Patti). Strictly speaking, a band didn't need to have been formed here, but it definitely had to have found its legs and come into its own here.

Enough disclaimers and on with the show: Here's TONY's 2011 state-of-the-rock-scene address: the top 25 bands in town. As ever, we welcome your applause, vitriol and counter-arguments. And if you don't object to spoilers, you can listen to our Spotify playlist while you read.

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